A Fibre Optic cable uses light, instead of electricty to transmit data signals over your network. As light travels faster, thus data transmission over a fibre optic cable tends to be faster. One other advantage of fibre optic cable for your network is that since fibre optic does not use electricity, it is not subject to electrical interference. Which means that your fibre optic network infrastructure can operate almost anywhere.
Fibre optic cabling, due to the nature of light, meets very little resistance, and thus can be used for networks setup on very long distances, without the need to boost or clean the signal.
The advantages of using Fibre Optic for your Network
There are various advantages for choosing Fibre Optic cabling:
Fibre optic network infrastructure allows you to send signals at high sppeds, typically running at 100Mbit/s or 1Gbit/s. Even at that velocity, the signal is much cleaner than traditional electrical network cabling. Comparing fiber-optic cabling to coaxial cabling is sort of like comparing digital information to analog information.
When it comes to costs, people immediately assume that fibre optic is much more expensive than copper cabling. First of all one has to consider that as copper cabling becomes faster, (e.g. Cat 6/6a) it also becomes more expensive, almost as much as fibre cabling. One also has to consider, that due the fact that Fibre Optic is immune to electricty interference, they offer a much higher bandwidth than copper wire and can carry signals for longer distances. It also provides greater reliability and the opportunity to offer new services.
Infact most telecom companies use fibre optic cabling to connect all their central offices and long distance switches.
Long distance runs
Most networks are designed around structured cabling installed with the standard calls for 90 meters (295 feet) of permanently installed unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable and 10 meters (33 feet) of patch cords. But in cases where distances exceed this 90 meter limit, particularly between different buildings, special aerial or underground waterproof copper cable and repeaters would be needed. Fibre optic would definitely be a more suitable solution for this scenario since it can transmit data without any issues over longer distances..
Cost vs Effectiveness
Ultimately, when it comes to the cost element of your network infrastructure, looking at the cabling component costs is a short sighted view. In order to decide, even based on cost, the total network infrastructure system must be holistically considered to realize that fibre can actually be the most effective solution.
InterTek Labs Malta can assist you with deciding which type of cabling would better suit your network requirements, and give you the best long term option.